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From: Ridgewood High School

The communities of Norridge and Harwood Heights are entirely landlocked by the City of Chicago, which annexed the surrounding land to build O'Hare Airport. Both communities were founded in 1948. In 1959, the two communities elected to build a high school to provide secondary education to their ever-increasing populations.

In bedroom communities like Norridge and Harwood Heights, still welcoming new immigrants to the U.S., there is no town square and not much of a shared history or experience with other residents; however, Ridgewood High School is the one experience that everyone shares. It is a life-long experience. Residents come there as young students; return as parents for their children; use the gym or auditorium facilities; and learn as adult learners in its extension classes. In this very real sense, Ridgewood High School is the community.

The first superintendent of Ridgewood, Eugene R. Howard, was a great proponent of the educational theories of Dr. J. Lloyd Trump. Dr. Trump's teaching methods of secondary school education were revolutionary for their time. Students attended classes ranging in length from 20 to 80 minutes. One third of the instruction was done in large lecture halls of 60-160 students, making extensive use of educational TV and films. One third was then done in small discussion seminar groups of 10-20 students, led by students and guided by teachers' aides. The final third of the students' time was intended to be devoted to individual study.

Ridgewood High School was designed with the Trump System in mind. The building was wired for cable television and initially laid out with the required lecture halls and seminar spaces. The school became famous for these educational innovations, with articles appearing in 1968 in Time Magazine and Ladies Home Journal proclaiming the school was one of "America’s Top Ten High Schools".

 
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